TV review: Midnight Sun, Sky Atlantic (4 stars)

TV review: Midnight Sun, Sky Atlantic

The feverishly imaginative people behind The Bridge deliver another Scandi crime treat

When Björn Stein and Måns Mårlind sat down to make a new show after their triumphant success with The Bridge, one question must have been foremost in their minds. How do we come up with an opening premise as rich and original as the first Bridge when a body was found straddling the Swedish and Danish border, thus bringing in two very distinct investigation teams? Let the record state that Midnight Sun's opening sequence is almost certainly the most jaw-droppingly terrifying start to a TV show. Ever.

It would be an act of spoiler cruelty to even give a whiff of that first scene, suffice to say that it has our police folk scratching their heads in horror and confusion before leading on to another equally traumatic and gory crime-scene tableaux. Set mainly in an isolated mining community in north Sweden, but also partially traipsing along the chic streets of Paris, Midnight Sun gives itself another key task: matching up a pair of cops with intense personal issues as per Saga / Martin, and Saga / Henrik.

So, here Stein and Mårlind have perhaps acknowledged that such pairings is a once-in-a-TV-lifetime happenstance, so for Midnight Sun, we have a triptych: French officer Kahina Zadi (Leïla Bekhti) who has some serious commitment problems; half-Sami, half-Swedish DA Anders Harnesk (Gustaf Hammarsten) whose daughter's friends think he's a bit of a creep; and peach-capped chief prosecutor Rutger Burlin (Peter Stormare), who is carrying some sort of illness which results in outlandish visions (to that end, the opening episode's powerful closing scene is a solid bookend to its curtain-raising horror).

It will be intriguing to see if Midnight Sun can keep up such an intense tempo throughout its run or if the blistering events of episode one has the show burning out too soon. But given the addictive yet gruesome back-catalogue of Stein and Mårlind, we can probably expect a few more traumas before its conclusion.

Midnight Sun starts on Sky Atlantic, Wed 15 Mar, 10pm.

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